Teaching English in Chile
September 1, 2004 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experience of teaching English as a foreign language in Santiago, or elsewhere in Chile? (more inside)

I would love to do a TEFL course, but can't afford it at the moment and would like to get started. I assumed it would be hard to earn a living doing this without a qualification but just had a friend raving about doing it anyway and making a good living.

Is there work? Is it feasible/ethical to foist myself on these people without qualifications?!
posted by penguin pie to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Perhaps the website to check out this sort of thing is Dave's ESL Cafe.

How much, let's say Russian, could you learn if you had some regularly scheduled face time with a native speaker of the language? You are qualified. Teaching experience would of course be a plus.

I don't have any first hand experience. Yet. I am leaving for China later this month to teach English. Email in my profile if you'd like more specifics.
posted by geekyguy at 8:39 AM on September 1, 2004

An ex-gringa-girlfriend of mine did exactly that: teach English in Santiago without any teaching experience/credentials (or a work visa). Basically, she got screwed, paid half of what the other professors did (because she didn't have work papers), but she enjoyed the work and eventually stole a group of students from the language school, charged them half of what they'd previously paid, and ended up making much more money. My brother had a similar experience with Berlitz (also in Santiago).
There are some language schools in Chile which actually prefer native speakers, even without experience, to non-native teachers, because of the accent and idioms.
I'm in Chile now. E-mail's in profile.
posted by signal at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2004

i don't have experience teaching english, but did move to santiago and find a job. i personally found it very easy to get the right papers and start working here - i entered on a tourist visa, got a job offer, went to the immigration offices, filled out a form or two, and had permission to start work in a few days. proper papers arrived in a few months. so i would suggest doing that rather than working ilegally.

note that the "normal" way of working is self employed - that's probably what you would do, and what i originally started with. the most impressive thing about chile, imho, is how well this system works, including the online tax forms.

however, i'm white, male, european and well-qualified (all significant, i suspect - sex perhaps least so). email also in profile.

(why chile? quality of life might be better in spain.)
posted by andrew cooke at 12:52 PM on September 1, 2004

Thanks everyone - geekyguy, the link's just what I need, thanks - have an ace time in China.

I have a few FOAF contacts and my instinct is to just go and see what happens, though I'm still juggling ideas at the moment.

andrew cooke - Chile because I'm currently based in the Falklands so it's a close, easy and interesting option for me - the flights from here pass through Santiago, I've only ever passed through Chile briefly and want to see more, I'd have a steady stream of visitors from the Islands who pass through on a regular basis. Basically I want to see more of South America, Chile is an obvious place for me to start, and and teaching seems like an option that I would probably enjoy.

The tips on going legal are appreciated - Most people imply it's unnecessary but I'd prefer to do it that way.

Thanks, guys...
posted by penguin pie at 7:19 PM on September 1, 2004

incidentally, on the "ethical" bit - i wouldn't worry. as signal says, people will try to epxloit you and expect you to exploit them. i don't pretend to understand ethics here - the little i grasp is that it's mainly to do with family and friends - but screwing people over and generally making money any way you can is pretty much considered a good thing.

bitter, moi?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:01 AM on September 2, 2004

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